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The Hole Inside of Me -- How I Live In Alma Deshakra (The Vain Reality)

Updated: Mar 13

A young boy with a protective cloth.

It first began during childhood. I had a very happy childhood, full of freedom and fun, but perhaps because of that, it was also a very devoid period in my life. The fun I received from doing the things I liked back then, fun that could last for days on average, just felt... hollow.

I could play games the entire day, and still go to bed a sad individual. Even as a naive kid, I felt like an existentially useless, worthless being who gave nothing to himself or to society.

People told me, "Enjoy your time as a kid while it lasts", They told me "Seize your ability to have so much free time", and I did just that. And still... life felt worthless, a waste of time and space. I don't know why I had these thoughts as a child, but I had them nonetheless, and beyond hollow fun, I almost felt nothing else.

I've seen the outside beyond the window of the apartment. The sun was shining, and the wind was blowing the trees in the building's small yard, where I used to live. It meant little to me because I wanted the fun to last as long as possible. That was, even though it was a hollow one. I could not know any better, of course, because I was just a kid. And yet, I was haunted by nihilistic thoughts.

In Judaism, this world is known as Alma Deshakra, otherwise known as a world of mundane delights. Look around you. The dazzling lights of cities, the happiness displayed in advertisements, the soulessness of pop music... For those who have a certain tiredness in us, one that is found in "Old Souls", this reality is experienced as chronically vain. Like you already understand it, and thus, grow tired of it. So, you seek its deeper layers, even for the sake of staying mentally sound, to mentally survive.

This Earth is but a tiny body in a large, uncaring galaxy, in a much bigger, uncaring universe. It all ends someday, regardless of what you do. For many, nothing is truly valuable beyond the mere experience of joy. How pathetic.

Mother told me, "We should be thankful to God for what He has given to us", and I indeed believed in that deity during some of my childhood. I even prayed to him some nights. But existence still felt "godless".

So, in order for me to not be consumed by this chronic feeling which haunts me most of my life, I look for the deeper aspects of this existence. I refuse to be truly satisfied, for that will mark the full victory of the hole inside of me. An ever-consuming void of profound nihilism.

Even with my thankfulness, the emptiness inside me would not go away. How can I be thankful when I chronically hunger for depth? Empires... are built on hunger. On the need to expand. My mind lives like a Roman Empire. Never truly satisfied, always seeking to conquer more and more ambitions and articles to call my own. I need this like food.

As I grew up to my teen years, I got to experience new things, other than games. I went abroad, went to certain parties (also known as "Bat-Mitzvas" back then), and finished elementary school at a pool party. It all felt just as empty as me playing a video game in the solitude of my former apartment. The joy, the music, and the entertainment did not fill the hole carved within me by my very existence. It all felt like I am needed to pretend I am happy, while in the real world, my own happiness is not even relevant.

For it breaks the norm of collective hedonism, which compels you to be happy for the sake of collective good. For the expression of your unhappiness, ruins the mood.

How pathetic.

I had pets, and I had a few friends. At the time, none of them could understand. They were too young, and pets can't grasp nihilism, as far as I'm aware. I really had no one to turn to to fill the void inside me. The same void that had accompanied me since early childhood.

Thus far, I have only found two things that fulfill this Lovecraftian void: love and philosophizing. Nothing else gives me as much satisfaction as falling in love with someone and reminding myself that there's still depth in this largely-vain reality. I guess it's a good thing, but only when it comes to the latter. When it comes to the former, it can really haunt you, as it did to me.

As girls and women rejected me, it seemed to hurt more than the void itself hurt me over the years. To observe a message of rejection from someone you loved with all your heart. That is an event I wished not to experience yet again, for I am not a masochist. However, embracing adversity helped me expand my sphere of actions.

Trying over and over again to get the perfect "shot," like when taking a picture, seems very frustrating. And it is. You can be with a girl, woman, or someone else for a few months, only for her to abandon you unexpectedly, leaving you once again with your thoughts. What is the point of this uncertainty? Perhaps this is an uncertainty I refused to partake in again, only to realize I will be empty inside either way.

And that's good for writing, to remain unhappy, as it allows me to get more things done. So unhappy I will remain by choice.

And thus, the only thing in life that truly makes me happy and only makes me happy, beyond mere joy, is the quest for more insight. It feels productive more than anything else in this existence, which, for some reason, I view as hollow, as vain. It gives me hope, and I want to share that hope with others through Philosocom. I don't have a definite explanation as to why that is the only thing that makes me happy and proud, even though other activities give me joy as well, but these are the facts.

Why do you think I write so much? It appears that this is the only thing that keeps the "hole" from expanding more and more. Each article, once in a while, minimizes the hole further and further, until it is gone. Only to expand once more, calling me to resume my life's work once again. There is no end to this. Only in death. And I accept this strange destiny within me.

I don't know if I believe in destiny, but I also can't work in anything else, as the fatigue that followed became too strong for me to resume working (and I indeed tried doing so, as an office clerk in National Service). It resulted in a 5 year-long era of Reaping Fatigue, where I slowly became physically handicapped. I solved that handicap on my own, but I wish not to undergo such an Era again, for it compromised my intellect greatly.

I guess that all I have to do in this life is serve a greater purpose than myself, not necessarily because it is "my destiny," but because it's the only thing that I can do with little-to-no fatigue and with a small glimpse of true happiness. For I still have the energy to prove the world that she was wrong. And I will do so with relentless altruism.

Hehehehe... Living to work as a philosopher is the only thing I feel obliged to live for. Nothing else is as resonating. Not even love.

Thank you for reading.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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